Fact or Fiction
Ligers are animals that can grow up to be the same size as both parents combined. Ligers’ parents are a lion Father and a tiger Mother.
Hopefully you don’t have any Ligers or Tiglons roaming your home or apartment! However, you may have a sweet kitty or a clever cat who rules your kingdom. We’d love to see pictures of your own “Leo” doing something clever or fun, and share the joy with our Astronology readers! Please send us an e-mail with your pictures!
Ripped From the Headlines… Employee Frustration in a Customer-Based Organization
By now most of us have heard of Steven Slater, formerly of JetBlue, who made a dramatic exit from his place of employment after reaching his breaking point on the job. While many employees who have had their fair share of job frustrations applaud his approach and consider him a folk hero, many wonder what caused a man with a 20-year career in customer service to end it as dramatically and unexpectedly as he did, at great cost to his employer. In this edition of Astronology, we take a look at the customer-based frustrations employees face.
What’s the Source of the Frustration?
Recently, the Conference Board reported that U.S. worker job satisfaction is at its lowest point in the past two decades. Granted, a lot of the job dissatisfaction is the result of budget cuts and the recent economic downturn organizations have faced. However, there may be other factors that could be pushing employee’s buttons.
• A World of Instant Gratification Coupled with the “Customer is Always Right”
Everything in our society is instant. Instant messaging has replaced regular mail and even e-mail. We drink instant coffee and see movies On-Demand instead of renting via stores. We remain glued to our Blackberry for an immediate response to our e-mails. No one waits for anything anymore. As a result, many customers have developed an instant demand attitude when reaching out to organizations for customer support. The very thought that a customer must wait a little longer than usual can cause a less than positive response from a customer. That negative response is directed at the customer facing employee, even though he or she may have no control over the situation.
• Unclear Communication
Heard a rumor that there would be more pink slips? No raise? Didn’t receive the latest meeting notes from the departmental meeting? Unclear communication within an organization can make employees uneasy, and thus negatively impact their professionalism.
• Caregiver / Family Stresses
Few things are harder to deal with than carry-over stress from home into the work environment! Many people point to Mr. Slater’s stress in caring for his ailing parents as factors in his eventual blow-up at Jet Blue. Recent surveys have found that caregiving causes stress for employees and, in turn, their organizations. In an environment where pressure is high and there is a constant need for instant production and response, this mix of stress and organizational demands can be a recipe for disaster.
What Can We Do?
It is possible to eliminate job dissatisfaction, although this rarely happens overnight. Providing employees with helpful training, assistance, and other resources in combating dissatisfaction factors is a start. Remind all your employees about your organization’s EAP, if you offer one. Don’t wait until someone needs the EAP service to communicate its benefits to everyone.
Showing genuine concern for an employee’s well being also helps in increasing satisfaction and reducing stress. In today’s economy, some unique gestures to demonstrate true concern could include flexibility in work hours, telecommunicating options, and business coaching / training.Astronology has offered articles in the past on these topics including
Feel free to read these past issues and more in Astronology’s archive listing!
No matter the state of employee satisfaction and engagement at your organization, proactively reaching out to employees every few months to understand their concerns and stressors, and taking action accordingly, will help to ensure your organization stays on the front page of the newspaper…in recognition of its excellent customer service!Share the article: